A recent article critical of the Hungarian government in The Guardian newspaper “doesn’t square with reality”, Zoltán Kovács, the state secretary for international communications and relations, has said.
In a letter addressed to the editor of The Guardian, Kovács said a recent article in the paper claiming the Hungarian government was dismantling media freedom and judicial independence “simply doesn’t square with the reality of today’s Hungary”. The article’s author, Timothy Garton Ash, accused Hungary’s ruling Fidesz party and Prime Minister Viktor Orbán of having “effectively demolished the independence of the judiciary” and said much of the country’s media had been consolidated in a “pro-government cartel”.
In his letter, the state secretary said news portals critical of the government had a larger readership than pro-government ones. Critical voices, he said, also had a “dominant audience share” on TV, the medium through which he said 71% of Hungarians got their news. Responding to Garton Ash’s criticisms of the state of judicial independence in Hungary, Kovács said Hungary’s judicial reforms had been “thoroughly reviewed by the EU and the Venice Commission and all questions were resolved”.